So many times Donald Trump does something that I disagree with….but I simply scratch my head, curse or wish his time in office was over and we could get back to a sense of American sanity….but I don’t stop and write a blog on it….because I would be writing “Trump complaint blogs” all the time.

But today, I have to say something about his crazy childish idea of having a military parade.

Now, let me say here at the beginning of this article that I am a staunch supporter of our troops.  I deeply honor those who have given of their time and talents and risked their lives in support of our country and our freedom.  We are blessed to have the finest military in the world.

But let me ask a simple question — what is the purpose of our military?

What comes to mind for you?  For me, our military is a tool for protecting our country (and our allies) from those who might threaten us.  It is a force to use to right wrongs and to maintain the peace.  It is there for safety and protection and to uphold our cherished values of freedom.

That said, there have been many times that we could argue that our military has been used by politicians for other purposes.  There are many who could point at our maintenance of such a large and costly military and our frequent use of it as being motivated by the financial profit based interests of the “military industrial complex”.  These “misuses” of our military do not undermine the value of our military…but they do point to how our military can be inappropriately applied via the misguided beliefs and selfish interests of certain powerful political and corporate leaders.

I do not believe that our military should be used to create excessive profits for companies that create weapons and other armed force needs.  There is an obvious perverse incentive to maintain more war to create more profits by certain corporations and we need to guard against it.

NOTE:  Some say it may be too late given the unquestioned missing 800 billion dollars that the Pentagon cannot account for.

So why a military parade?

Some might say “what’s the big deal?”, after all isn’t it just honoring of our military?  I am fully supportive of honoring our military….love it when we do so at sporting events and the like.  But is the purpose of a military parade truly to honor our service men and women?  I don’t think so.

When we see those movies of Russia or China hosting large parades with missiles and tanks and whatnot rolling down the street….do we think, “oh, they are honoring their service people….how nice”? Look at the picture above of Russia’s parade from a few years ago.  Is that what you think? No, of course not.  We think, this is them trying to rattle their sabers and show how strong they are.

Do we need to show the world how strong we are?  I truly believe the world sees us as being militarily strong already.  After all, we spend as much as the next 8 countries combined.  We don’t need a parade to show the world our military might.  In fact, such a parade could well be perceived as “rubbing the world’s nose in our strength” and causing us to be seen more negatively.

Then there is the cost….reported to be in the millions. Best us of our money?  Not by a long shot.  Here’s an idea—take the money for the parade and put it towards mental health services for vets.  Per this report, half of U.S. veterans who served during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq don’t get the mental health care they need.  That is a disgrace.  If we truly wanted to show our strength, then we would fix this problem first.

The truly strong don’t have to constantly remind everyone of how strong they are.

As most of us realize, Trump is an egomaniac who is only concerned about his success and how he is perceived.  His desire to “play with our military” by rolling it down the streets of DC is nothing more than the fulfillment of some childish fantasy by our “President” who really longs to be the authoritarian leader of some banana republic.  Just say no.

Mark Gilbert